Law School Discussion

Contracts... Where to Begin?

Contracts... Where to Begin?
« on: December 14, 2007, 07:18:13 AM »
Hey All!

My contracts exam is on Monday.  It is completely open book.  I have an outline and I've tabbed my books, but now when it comes to just studying, I feel like I don't know where to begin.  The exam is 3 or 4 essay questions and the rumor is that last year the average score on an essay question was 6 points out of 20.  Does anyone have any advice on how to effectively go about studying this material?  Or... do you know of a standard game plan to approaching contracts essay questions?  Any information or advice would be useful.



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Re: Contracts... Where to Begin?
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2007, 07:22:35 AM »
That's what your outline is for.  You should have learned things while going through and making the outline.  Now, just go through and do practice exams USING your outline so you work with the material.

6 out of 20 for an average sounds pretty normal.  Welcome to law school.


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Re: Contracts... Where to Begin?
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2007, 11:20:56 AM »
1) Is there a contract?
2) If there is a contract --> any reasons against enforcing it?
3) If no reasons against enforcement --> what are the terms?
4) If there are no ambiguities within the terms, gap fillers supplied --> anything to excuse non-performance?
5) If there's nothing to excuse non-performance --> what kind of a breach is this?
6) What kind of damages/remedies are available?

Re: Contracts... Where to Begin?
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2007, 02:01:55 PM »
Thank you!!

I went to the review today and I think I know the material better than what I was giving myself credit for, but thanks again!

Re: Contracts... Where to Begin?
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2007, 03:04:22 PM »
The only thing we studied this semester for K was remedies, so if you need help with that, maybe I can be of assistance - I have a pretty helpful UCC flowchart!


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Re: Contracts... Where to Begin?
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2007, 12:46:21 PM »
My contracts was closed book, by a prof who wrote parts of the UCC and two chapters in our book. I was not pleased at all. Hardest f-ing exam ever. Even my torts prof, who saw it while it was being written, said it was one of the most brutal exams he'd read. I really feel like I failed K, which is a shame because I feel like I aced civ pro and torts.

We had 50 MC's most with multiple answer possibilities (i.e. A, B, C, D, B and C, All of Above, None of above), and then a 70 minute essay which I did well on, and a 50 minute essay which I couldn't even figure out where to begin.

I can summarize the essays for you:

70 min (this is the one I did well on): Company A manufactures MDI, a product made from petroleum. It's toxic, so they need respirator masks. Their buying agent calls Company B, tells them that they need masks, can you make one that works for MDI? B says "oh sure, but it will be expensive" and quotes a price. A says "that's fine, cause it's the same as what we already pay. I'll send an order. B says "Okay". A sends an order form for 500 respirators, in batches of 100, sent every month, at the price that was quoted. On the back of the order form is a statement that says "Seller hereby warrants that products will be fit for the purpose ordered" (or something close to that effect). Company B sends back an invoice with the first batch of respirators, which contains the words "Company B hereby disclaims all implied warranties of merchantability and fitness", and it contains the first 100, slightly later than Company A would have liked, but no shipping date was specified in the order. Company A promptly pays. Company B ships batch 2, gets paid. Company B ships batch 3, gets paid. Sometime after Batch 3 arrives, all the workers start getting sick with MDI poisoning. Discuss the situation, and weigh Company A's options.

50 min (this is the one I did bad on): Company A is a builder outside Washington DC (p.s. I go to WCL at American, in DC). Company A does real estate speculation. They bought a bunch of land for $15 million, that they plan to strip down, build roads, and make usable for real estate. The market goes south, and costs rise, and now the land is only worth $12 million (it will be worth $12.2 after the roads are built). Company B is a real estate contractor service. A contracts with B to  have B strip all the topsoil and gravel off of the land, and then pave roads, in exchange for $1.4 million dollars (something close to that) payment to B, and B gets to keep the "valuable" topsoil and gravel (no dollar value listed). B strips off all the topsoil and gravel, but in the process the labor costs start rising, and the price of oil (used in making the asphalt for the roads) skyrockets. They estimate it will now cost them $4 million to build the road, and cease work (keeping the topsoil and gravel). A sues B. B tries to defend, citing frustration and impracticability. You are a bench clerk for the trial judge hearing the case. She wants you to write a memo for her decision. There is no controlling case law on the topic. Your memo will be the substance of the decision. Include remedies and damages, defenses, and all other questions necessary, and (emphasis added) CITE YOUR AUTHORITIES AND DISCUSS THEIR FACTS.

That part was the female dog. Nobody studied for case names and facts, only applicable rules of law. I'm pretty sure I got 25% or less of the possible points for that question.

Re: Contracts... Where to Begin?
« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2007, 06:23:34 AM »
Im so glad our exam was only on the Restatements and not the UCC

i just went over each case with the restatements attached in my outline, and went over small restatements you should know to throw in good language

i think i did well, but i keep reminding myself, its all in a bell curve relative to your peers success

Re: Contracts... Where to Begin?
« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2007, 04:59:57 PM »
Desperate question here...  I'm studying for my K closed books exam which is on Thursday... I don't really know what I'm doing!!  I'm going over outlines, reading Chirelstein's book, going over flashcards, aka doing everything and nothing's really getting done or apparently going in.  We will have both MC & essay on the test.  Am I going the right way about my studying?  What should I be doing?  I tried doing some MC questions out of Siegel's and I'm getting EVERYTHING wrong!!!  Are those supposed to be particularly hard, or am I just particularly stupid?